Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Results of the new gTLD prioritization Draw for wine applications

There are 4 applications related to the wine business in the new gTLD program. Yesterday took place new gTLD prioritization draw where each application was assigned a randomly-drawn priority number. These priority numbers are used to determine the order in which initial evaluation results are released. To learn more about the "Initial Evaluation", the direct link on the ICANN web site is here (watch the video).

On the 1917 applications, 4 applications are related to wine:
  1. .VIN from "Holly Shadow, LLC" came out first on position 618;
  2. .WINE application number 1 from "June Station LLC" came out in second, on position 917;
  3. .WINE application number 2 from "dot Wine Limited" came out third, on position 1158;
  4. .WINE application number 3 from "Afilias Limited" came out fourth, on position 1291.

Unless I am wrong, I believe .VIN domain names could see the day before .WINE unless the .VIN application is blocked because of the GAC Early Warning or an Objection(s). Even it this was the case, I doubt this will happen. It is possible the Independent Objector acts too.

Even if I completely disagree with ICANN regarding how similar applications in different languages are considered, another good thing for the .VIN application is that - and this is a paradox - ICANN seems to consider that .VIN  has nothing to do with .WINE. Writing the famous New gTLD Applicant Guidebook, no one has imagined a Top-Level Domain could mean the exact same thing in another language and raise the exact same problems when it addresses to a specific industry (1).

Also, the Applicant Guidebook does not consider that a specific industry targeted by a domain name extension should be consulted: wine institutions where never asked this simple question: "what do you think about creating domain name extensions for the wine business?". ICANN considers it is the role of the one who pays to offer domain name registration rules, not the industry targeted to write them and ensure consumers will be protected: the Registrants (basically: you). A good solution offered by ICANN was to apply as a "Community project" and have the extension endorsed by a representative of a Community...but unfortunately:
  1. Few knew;
  2. Few paid interest;
  3. No one in the wine industry had the money to invest in these expensive new gTLDs;
  4. Those who knew:
    1. ...you will read the end of this sentence in my memories;
    2. ...you will read the end of this sentence in my memories;
    3. ...you will read the end of this sentence in my memories.
So according to ICANN and since .VIN has absolutely nothing to do with .WINE, these 2 applications will probably be treated separately and one will see the day before the other!

There are 3 .WINE applications in competition and it is possible they go to auction unless 2 of the 3 applicants drop theirs and/or have objections. Here too, it is possible the Independent Objector decides to act.
What is important here is that all .WINE applications are linked in the validation process and one of them is in position 1291 on a list of 1917 when .VIN is in position 618. The application for .VIN will be treated first.

It is also possible I am completely wrong but all comments are welcome and will be published on LinkedIn if you want to participate.

(1) "vin" means "wine" in French :-)

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